(The Following Article Is By Christian Apologist And Mental Health Advocate, David Lee Chu Sarchet. He Defends The Christian Faith Against Christopher Hitchens Book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything).

Chapter 4:

Christopher Hitchens titles this chapter, “A Note on Health, to Which Religion Can Be Hazardous”. He opens up this chapter with a quote by Heinrich Heine, which says:

“In dark ages are best guided by religion, as in a pitch black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind old men as guides.”

I actually agree with this quote, but I think the irony behind this is that Hitchens was painfully unaware that it is himself and those who profess the worldview of atheism who are the ones who are “blind guides”. If Christianity is true, and I believe that I’ve been demonstrating that it is, then the Christian worldview is more in line with reality and atheism is nothing more than a delusional fantasy. If atheism is a delusion, then it’s adherents are delusional and since they typically try to teach others that means they are “blind guides” leading other blind people.

The first comment that I’d like to address comes on page 44, where Hitchens claims:

“As with smallpox, eradication must be utter and complete. I wondered as I left Calcutta if West Bengal would manage to meet the deadline and declare itself polio-free by the end of next year. That would leave any pockets of Afghanistan and one or two other inaccessible regions, already devastated by religious fervor, before we could say that another ancient tyranny of illness had been decisively overthrown. In 2005 I learned of one outcome. In Northern Nigeria–a country that had previously checked as provisionally polio-free–a group of Islamic religious figures issued a ruling, or fatwa, that declared that the polio vaccine to be a conspiracy by the United States against the Muslim faith. The drops were designed, said these Mullahs, to sterilize the true believers. The intention and effect was genocidal. Nobody was to swallow them, or administer them to infants. Within months, polio was back, and not just in Nigeria. Nigerian travelers and pilgrims had already taken it as far as Mecca, and spread it back to other polio-free countries, including three African ones, and also faraway Yemen, The entire boulder would have to be rolled up to the of the mountain”

First, I would like to note that I do support the use of vaccines because I believe that God has blessed doctors with the wisdom to know how to best administer the vaccines and other medication too. We can generally trust the doctors.. I do believe that it is criminal to prevent the use of vaccines for citizens. However, my response to this diatribe of nonsense is “So What?” Hitchens still has yet to establish an objective standard for morality, so this is just his mere opinion masquerading as being factual, but who really cares about his uneducated opinion?

Next, on page 46, he goes on to say:

“An official of Pakistan’s AIDS control program told Foreign Policy magazine in 2005 that the problem was smaller in his country because of ‘better social and Islamic values’. This, in the state where the law allows a woman to be sentenced to be gang-raped in order to expiate the ‘shame’ of a crime committed by a brother. This old religious combination of repression and denial: a plague like AIDS is assumed to be unmentionable because the teachings of the Koran are enough to themselves to inhibit premarital intercourse, drug use, adultery, and prostitution”

By what standard does he even begin to present this as morally objectionable? Why does he even care? After all, according to atheism, human beings are nothing more than stardust caused by a cosmic accident. Therefore, whatever happens to some stardust is irrelevant unless Hitchens could have given us some reason other than that he simply did not like this or that, then we have absolutely no reason to care about this whatsoever.

Next he goes on to say:

“The attitude of religion to medicine, like the attitude of religion to science, is always necessarily problematic and very often necessarily hostile. A modern believer can say and even believe that his faith is quite compatible with science and medicine, but the awkward fact that will always be that both things have a tendency to break religious monopoly, and have often been fiercely resisted for that reason”

As someone who struggles with mental illness and has to take a daily dose of antipsychotic medication, I am a huge advocate for most medication and I see no conflict between my faith in Jesus and science and/or medicine. This argument is based on a faulty presupposition that one needs to choose between either science or Christianity and that is a logical fallacy called a false dichotomy because the logical third alternative is one could choose both because both are logically compatible with one another. The Bible does not prohibit the use of medicine or the study of science. As a matter of fact, the Bible is replete with implicit and explicit commands to study nature for God’s glory and the Bible also records that the gospel writer, Luke, was a physician who would have been in the practice of working with a variety of medication for his clients.

Then, on page 47, Hitchens boldly declares:

“Yet Timothy Dwight, a president of Yale University and to this day one of America’s most respected ‘divines’, was opposed to the smallpox vaccination because he regarded it as an interference with god’s design. And this mentality is still heavily present, long after its pretext and justification in human ignorance has vanished”

Honestly, I do not know who Timothy Dwight is, nor do I even care. He is wrong about being opposed to the smallpox vaccine both logically and biblically. There is no biblical reason to be against vaccines or any medication at all.

On page 48, he then makes a very ignorant that even he should have known better than to make. He says:

“In the recent division of the Anglican Church over homosexuality and ordination, several bishops made the fatuous point that homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ because it does not occur in other species. Leave aside the fundamental absurdity of this observation: are humans part of ‘nature’ or not? Or if they chance to be homosexual, are they created in god’s image or not? Leave aside the well-attested fact that numberless kinds of birds and mammals and primates do engage in homosexual play. Who are the clerics to interpret nature? They have shown themselves quite unable to do so… Homosexuality is present in all societies, and its incidence should appear to be part of human ‘design’.”

This is an illogical argument on two fronts.

First, it presupposes that humans are on the same level as the animals. Christianity teaches that humans have more intrinsic value than animals do because we are made in the Imago Dei (Image of God) and thus we are to have dominion over the animals.

First, it presupposes that humans are on the same level as the animals. Christianity teaches that humans have more intrinsic value than animals do because we are made in the Imago Dei (Image of God) and thus we are to have dominion over the animals. So, it is quite the insult to our humanity to suggest that we are the same as the animals. Furthermore, just because animals exhibit homosexual behavior it is highly illogical to argue that it should be normal for us to follow suit.

Do you know what other behavior animals exhibit? They eat their own babies and even their own feces! Should we copy that behavior as well? Also, saying that homosexuality is in every civilization so it is therefore normal is also illogical because pedophilia is also in every civilization too. Should we then accept pedophiles as well? Yes, homosexuals are made in God’s image too and because of that fact they know they are living in rebellion against God and they will face His wrath unless they repent and put their trust in Jesus for salvation.

Next, Hitchens continues to harp on about vaccines when he says:

“A vaccine is now available–these days vaccines are now swiftly developed– not to cure this malady but to immunize women against it. But there are forces in the administration who oppose the adoption of this measure on the grounds that it fails to discourage premarital sex. To accept the spread of cervical cancer in the name of god is no different, morally or intellectually, from sacrificing these women on the stone alter and thanking the deity for giving us the sexual impulse and then condemning it”

Once again I have absolutely no issue supporting vaccines and nowhere can anyone make a case against vaccines and/or medicine with the Bible. The Bible actually supports science and medicine so the claim that Christianity and science are somehow at odds is blatantly false.

On page 49, He goes on to graphically paint this picture:

“As a man of some fifty-seven years of age, I am discovered sucking the penis of a baby boy. I ask you to picture your own outrage and revulsion. Ah, but I have my explanation all ready. I am a mohel: an appointed circumciser and foreskin remover. My authority comes from ancient text, which commands me to take a baby boy’s penis in my mouth, sucking off the foreskin, and spitting out the amputated flap along with a mouthful of blood and saliva. This practice has been abandoned by most Jews, either because of its unhygienic nature or its disturbing associations, but it still persists among some of the more Hasidic fundamentalists who hope for the Second Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem”

Now, it should go without saying that the Old Testament (or The Torah) doesn’t condone the practice of sucking a baby boy’s penis at all, but even if it did, why would Hitchens have any problem with this according to his worldview? Sure, the Old Testament talks about circumcision but not like that, as he describes. He is reading into the text an interpretation that is not there.

On page 51, Hitchens goes on a further blind rage when he says:

“Parents professing to believe the nonsensical claims of Christian Science have been accused but not always convicted of denying urgent medical care to their offspring. Parents who imagine themselves to be ‘Jehovah’s Witness (CWB doesn’t believe in Jehovah’s Witness religion)es’ have refused permission for those children to receive blood transfusions. Parents who imagine that a man named Joseph Smith was led to a set of golden tablets have married their ‘underage’ daughters to favored uncles and brothers-in-law, who sometimes have older wives already. The Shia fundamentalists in Iran lowered the age of ‘consent’ to nine, perhaps in admiring emulation of the age of the youngest ‘wife’ of the ‘Prophet’ Muhammed. Hindu child brides in India are flogged, and sometimes burned alive, if the pathetic dowry they bring is judged to be too small. The Vatican, and its vast network of dioceses, has in the past decade been forced to admit complicity in the huge racket of child rape and child torture, mainly but by no means exclusively homosexual, in which known pederasts and sadists were shielded from the law and reassigned to perishes where the pickings of the innocent and defenseless were often richer. In Ireland alone– once an unquestioning disciple of Holy Mother Church– it is now estimated that the UNmolested children of religious schools were very probably the minority”

At the risk of offending some of my readers, I would like to say, first off, that what I take the position that it should be a criminal offense for any parent that refuses to give their children any kind of medical care that should be punished as a felony crime no matter what their reason could be. I don’t even care if its for “religious purposes”. Parents should be legally obligated to make sure their children receive any and all medical care that they need. The Bible does not support neglecting children by refusing them medical treatment. As for different cult groups participating in or covering up child rape or torture, my question to Mr. Hitchens would be “according to atheism, what is wrong with those things?” All that he is doing here telling us what particularly displeases him, but, again why should we care about what he approves or disproves of?

Hitchens then goes on to ignorantly claim on page 52:

“I do not set myself up as a moral exemplar, and would be swiftly knocked down if I did, but if I was suspected of raping a child, or torturing a child, or infecting a child with venereal disease, or selling a child into sexual or any other kind of slavery, I might consider committing suicide whether I was guilty or not. If I had actually committed the offense, I would welcome death in any form that it might take. This revulsion is innate in any healthy person, and does not need to be taught. Since religion has proved itself uniquely delinquent on the one subject the moral and ethical authority might be counted as universal and absolute, I think we are entitled to at least three provisional conclusions. The first is that religion and the churches are manufactured, and that this salient fact is too obvious to ignore. The second is that ethics and morality are quite independent of faith, and cannot be derived from it. The third is that religion is– because it claims a special divine exemption for its practices and beliefs– not just amoral but immoral”

While I do agree that the revulsion we humans feel when we hear of child rape or child torture is innate and doesn’t need to be taught, the Christian worldview can account for why this is the case, but the atheist worldview cannot even begin to account for this. According to Christianity, all humans, including children, are created in the image of God and thus life is sacred and because of this fact, child rape and torture is morally wrong because it is harming someone who is made in God’s image, who has intrinsic value. Its because of this fact we all know intuitively that these things are objectively morally wrong. As a matter of fact, when the atheist gets outraged about these things he or she is actually borrowing from the Christian’s worldview. According to atheism, we are all just stardust that came from a cosmic accident for no apparent reason with no purpose whatsoever. In that paradigm, how does one arrive at morality at all? What is truly wrong with stardust colliding with stardust?

Next on page 53, Hitchens makes this highly ignorant claim:

“All the monotheisms, just to take the most salient example, praise Abraham for being willing to hear voices and then to take his son for a long and rather mad and gloomy walk. And then the caprice by which his murderous hand is finally stayed is written down as divine mercy.”

This is a typical misunderstanding of what biblical typology is. What is biblical typology? According to GotQuestions.org a biblical type in Scripture is “a person or thing in the Old Testament that foreshadows a person or thing in the New Testament. For example, the flood of Noah’s day is used as a type of baptism in 1 Peter 3:20-21”. The story of Abraham listening to the voice of God telling him to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac, was a type and shadow of the Father being willing to sacrifice His Son, Jesus, for the sake of His elect.

The final ignorant comment that I will address for this chapter is found on page 55. Hitchens says:

“Christianity is too repressed to offer sex in paradise– indeed it has never been able to evolve a tempting heaven at all– but it has been lavish in its promise of sadistic and everlasting punishment for sexual backsliders, which is nearly as revealing the same point in a different way”

People who claim that Christianity is “repressed” are ignorant of what the Bible really teaches. Its almost as if they have never read the Song of Solomon or even Proverbs 5:19 which says “Rejoice in the wife of your youth and let her breasts satisfy you always…” I do admit that a lot of professing Christians do lend reason to believe the whole “Christians are repressed” stereotype but this is why its important to read the firsthand source (i,e the Bible) instead.

As for heaven, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:9 which says, “But, as it is written ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him”. I do agree that most accounts of what people have recorded about Heaven do seem unappealing and boring.

However, we know that those accounts are false and should be discarded because they are unbiblical. We also know that according to Revelation 21 and a passage in 1 Corinthians that we are awaiting the return of Christ when He will consummate heaven and earth into one new heaven and earth where God Himself will dwell with us and there will be no more sin, sorrow, pain, or death. The passages also reveal that we will be given new glorified and resurrected physical bodies that won’t be subject to decay and age. We cannot speculate outside of what Scripture reveals which is what these supposed “Christians” who frequently talk about seeing heaven are guilty of doing.

Christopher Hitchens has yet again failed to mount a logical argument against the Christian faith. All that he did was continue to make emotional appeal fallacies and expressed what he personally disliked but he failed to establish why the things he does not approve of holds anu weight objectively. Why should any of us hold to Hitchens’ morality at all? I hope that by now the reader can see the folly of the atheistic worldview and will then repent of their rebellion against the God they know exists and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation. He is our only hope in this life and the next. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and I hope you were edified and God was glorified. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you all.

-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Apologist and Mental Health Advocate

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